Houston isn’t going to be a problem for Larbert High’s Marnie

Marnie McKay is off to space camp next month
Marnie McKay is off to space camp next month

A high-flying pupil says she’s over the moon to be heading to the United States for a week at space school.

Marnie McKay (16) secured the dream trip after attending a Strathclyde University summer school for an engineering taster course for pupils interested in science.

After impressing her university mentors on the NASA-backed programme, Marnie was one of only 10 from 100 Scottish teenagers on the course to be selected to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

And, the Larbert High sixth year pupil has been so taken by the whole experience that she’s now considering a change to what she would like to do with her future.

Marnie said: “For five years, I have wanted to go on and study law, but now I really want to do engineering.

“Now that I’ve seen what engineering is doing, and the ways it’s bringing the world forward, I want to be involved in the difference it’s making.

“I am so excited about space school, I really can’t wait.”

Marnie’s out-of-this-world adventure starts on October 26, and will be a real insight into the work of the famous Johnson Space Center.

The space school slot rounds off a great summer for Marnie who already has seven A-grade highers under her belt.

And the news has delighted Marnie’s parents, Gaynor and Tom McKay, from Camelon.

Jon Reid, Larbert High’s rector said: “I think Marnie was chosen because of the spark she has. She is not pushy or over-confident and she gets on well with everyone.

“I think she’s a natural leader, and she also achieved 99 per cent in her Higher physics which is incredible.”

Over 400 pupils applied for the summer school programme, after being nominated by science teachers.

The programme gave 100 pupils a taste of university life, as well as engaging them in engineering tasks and space-themed talks.

The numbers were then whittled down, with Larbert’s Fraser Johnston (S6) making it into the top 40 for space school.

Marnie is the second Larbert High pupil to attend space school in the past few years.